Properly Decluttering

And I thought we did a pretty extreme job last year!

We’ve spent the last few days going through our remaining belongings again. This time there are 4 piles;

  • Bring to Rum – this is a pretty small pile and includes clothes and shoes that fit us now and are suitable, practical and useful for our new lifestyle. Warm, waterproof and durable mostly then! Books we cannot bear to part with, a couple of boxes of toys each for Dragon and Star, stuff to kit out the kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms in the static. Our tent and camping stuff and not a lot else. This is currently looking like about 15 large boxes.
  • Leave at Mum & Dad’s until we have a larger, more permanent home. This is stuff like photo albums, home videos, first baby outfits, a few precious pieces of art work the kids have done, pictures we’ll one day hang on walls and not a lot else. This is looking like about 10 boxes.
  • Stuff to sell / take to charity shop / donate to friends (some of our best friends are about to move into a new house and are only too happy to have our old beds, sofas, table & chairs etc. We get to give them something useful and they get to have some stuff to furnish their new home with – win:win). The local charity shops have had about 15 boxes from us so far – clothes that are now too large or small for us (we’ve all got considerably bigger or smaller this last year!), shoes I’ll never wear again, toys, books and other such stuff we felt was too precious to get rid of last year despite the extreme decluttering but realised after a year without them don’t mean anything really.
  • Stuff for the tip. Fortunately a very small heap but we have done two runs to the tip, which given the vast percentage of stuff gets recycled is still liberating in it’s own way.

It’s not a straightforward process. Dragon and Star have been watching Toy Story 1, 2 and 3 the last few weeks so getting rid of toys has a heightened emotional impact with that in mind. It’s tough to be 9 and 11 and getting rid of most of your possessions. It’s quite odd to think that our four combined lifetimes of  over 100 years is now contained within less than 25 boxes, an old car, an even older campervan and the equity amounting to about a third of a house. How would that make you feel? How far away from that small level of ‘stuff’ are you and your family?

In other news we have debated and discussed and are about to take our house off the market for sale and put it back on to let again. We’ve had various agents round and listened to all sorts of advice and decided that for now this is the more financially astute option. We don’t need the equity from the house to build on Rum just yet so it makes more sense to take the ‘wage’ offered by way of monthly rent from a tenant and keep all the equity in the house. On that basis we’ll need to replace some carpets and then it will be up for rent from next week.

Ady is busy researching generators, I’m busy working out where our food will come from – we intend using the shop on Rum as much as possible but will also order bulk food supplies too, along with things like loo rolls, toothpaste and contact lenses. We’re looking out for a trailer and a 4 wheel drive vehicle to move us and our belongings and use as our island car and storage facility once we arrive.

The days are counting down…

5 thoughts on “Properly Decluttering”

  1. I’m sure it hasn’t been easy, but what a unique opportunity to strip your worldly goods down to the bare minimum. I treasure memories of the exhilaration I’ve felt when inter-railing round Europe, carrying everthing I need on my back, or on holiday abroad in a basically furnished appartment. There is freedom to be had in divesting ourselves of material possessions. If only we had the courage to do it more often.

  2. Hi, we did the de-cluttering exercise prior to a lengthy trip abroad. We got rid of pretty much all furniture, toys and clothes and anything else you can think of. Very liberating and we haven’t looked back. Best of luck with your plans, how very exciting.

  3. I love getting rid of stuff & Sime’s a hoarder! Twice we’ve held house clearance sales – once to come down to Cornwall & before that we went off travelling when our girls were very small for a year & lived in a campervan ourselves. It felt liberating!

    Good luck with sorting your house out!

    Kay 🙂

  4. I used to work in Africa and My entire life had to pack into two wooden crates and suitcase (to keep shipping costs low) each time I moved on. I left loads behind in the UK when I went out there, and didn’t miss any of it. Once in Africa I remember burning letters and files before each move. Even where I bought furniture and clothes I would leave most of it behind with grateful friends. I quickly got over the heartache of getting rid of stuff and found that after a few days a feeling of liberation would come. Now I’m settled in the UK with a house I miss those regular clear outs.

  5. Road traveling and living in a camper van is an experience. But over a period, you will notice that you accumulate lots of stuff and belongings. When you noticed that things are piling up in your van, decluterring is in order. It is a wise idea to take some things to charity shop. And for other things that would not fit inside the van, you can store them in your storage place. [Ericka Muldowney]

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